A Solution To Restaurant No-Shows?
You have to hate customers who make reservations and then don’t bother to show up. As restaurants experience tightening margins, the call for a fix to this problem has never been more resounding. Even online reservations aren’t helping at all. A number of restaurateurs have expressed their dismay at people who use them without honouring the commitment that they imply.
Bookingrid.com and its solution.
A marketing platform in the UK, bookingrid.com, says they have finally come up with a solution. Bookingrid claims that their system will balance the supply and demand especially between quitter and busy periods. This is done through an airline-style pricing system that will increase margins and solve the problem of no-shows altogether.
So how does Bookingrid.com work? When making a reservation, diners need to pay upfront using their credit card or debit card. If they cannot meet their reservation, the reservation fee will still go to the restaurant. In order to protect customers who genuinely couldn’t make it, they may re-sell their booking to other customers using the system.
A big problem or not a problem at all?
According to Toptable, they are currently working on a solution that will implement an automatic response to terminate users who consistently don’t show up for their reservation.
However, in the same vein, they said that online bookings reduce no-shows, because the system allows for cancellations in such an easy and convenient way.
Unfortunately, there is no centralized restaurant reservation system in Canada that has this feature. This means that whenever someone doesn’t show up for their reservation, the restaurant must make necessary adjustments—which include either passing on the projected loss to customers or bearing the loss themselves. The loss occurs when customers who attempted to reserve were turned away because of bookings made by no-shows.
Whether no-shows are caused by online reservation systems or not is unimportant; how the restaurant deals with it is ultimately what counts. Here are a few ways:
- Be clear about the cancellation policy of your restaurant to your customers.
- Turn over reserved tables to other people waiting in line or to available tables quickly when the reservation fails to meet the time
- Take the time to engage the customer who makes a reservation. Communicate with them verbally – maybe ask them if the reservation relates to a special occasion, or if anyone in their party has food allergies or special requirements. This shows that you care about your customers and establishes a personal connection that makes customers more likely to show up.